Zozaya Arquitectos orients Mexican beach house around reflecting pool

Casa Mateo by Zozaya Arquitectos

Mexican studio Zozaya Arquitectos has designed a concrete seaside house defined by a calming water feature on the Pacific coast.

Named Casa Mateo, Zozaya Arquitectos (ZAR) completed the 488-square metre residence in Zihuatanejo in 2022.

Ocean view at concrete Casa Mateo in Mexico
Casa Mateo features a calming water feature

The home is located on one of the highest peaks of the Punta Garrabo development, giving it views of the adjacent ocean and surrounding jungle landscape.

“The client wanted a very minimal and clean design house from the beginning but without losing the vernacular and traditional architecture,” ZAR director Daniel Zozaya told Dezeen.

“We were also inspired by traditional Japanese architecture in some design features.”

Rectilinear concrete house positioned on a site above the Pacific coast of Mexico
A sloped road leads up to the house

A sloped road leads up to the property, where an outdoor staircase flanked by stone weeping walls opens to the central courtyard and primary rectangular reflecting pool, oriented perpendicular to the sea.

The house is composed of two rectangular concrete forms with broad roof planes.

Bedroom designed with muted neutral-hued interiors
Three bedrooms are included in the project

The private zone with three bedrooms and bathrooms is to the left of the entrance, which is characterised by a coffee-coloured parota wood screen and a cotton fisherman’s net hanging rope.

To the right of the entrance – denoted by a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass wall and white deep sea coral sculptures – are the social spaces.

White deep sea coral sculptures next to the neutral living room at Casa Mateo by Zozaya Arquitectos
White deep sea coral sculptures feature in the living space

“I wanted to bring little fragments from the habitat into the interior design through carefully curated objects,” Zozaya said.

Local stone walls, steel accents and Volcani floor tiles create a monotone grey palette in the living room, dining room, and kitchen spaces that open onto the terrace.

Sunken conversation pit next to shaded grilling area at Casa Mateo
Zozaya Arquitectos added a sunken seating space next to the infinity pool

A stainless steel pergola with local tree branches and polycarbonate provides shade for the large grilling area next to a sunken seating space.

The primary ensuite opens onto an infinity pool with a two-sided waterfall edge that looks out toward the ocean. The pool was constructed around a pre-existing tree.

Floor-to-ceiling glazing attached to the primary ensuite at Casa Mateo by Zozaya Arquitectos
The primary ensuite overlooks the pool

The materials were selected based on quality, local availability and longevity, while the tones “coexist organically with the natural environment.”

“The water features play a really important role in the house because they bring the zen mode and atmosphere and divide the social with private areas,” Zozaya said, noting the use of water to evoke calmness.

“The project resumes passive bioclimatic systems through cross ventilation in various spaces, adapting to the beach situation of the area,” the studio said.

“Green roofs were implemented, with the idea of mimicking the surrounding vegetation, reducing paved surfaces, as well as generating thermal comfort inside the residence.”

Infinity pool designed by Zozaya Arquitectos overlooking the Pacific coast of Mexico
The pool was constructed around a pre-existing tree

Founded in 1986 on the Mexican Pacific coast, ZAR is known for its residential seaside projects. Recently, the studio completed a cliffside home with a thatched roof structure and a holiday home with a bamboo screen – both in Zihuatanejo.

The photography is by Cesar Belio.

Project credits:

Architect in charge: Daniel Zozaya Valdés
Design team: Enrique Zozaya, Saddam Otero, Jesus Lopez, Luis Alonso, José Antonio Vázquez, Ana Karen Cadena
Interior designer: Sara Campos

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